Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Alternate Ending

When our three year old calls her grandma, they visit for a few minutes and then Gram usually sings her a few songs and tells her one or two stories. Please understand that my mother likes to use soft words and gentle lessons. Her fairy tales NEVER end with the step-sisters being boiled in oil, Goldilocks is not eaten by the bears, and true love's kiss always works.

Tonight my sweet daughter was telling me the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Actually, she was "reading" the story off the side of a raisin box to her doll and I was eavesdropping. She had every detail down pat from "Come, pick these lovely flowers to bring to your grandma" to "My, what big teeth you have!" My mother's style was sprinkled throughout the story. Grandma was not eaten by the wolf, she was put in the closet and the wolf "slammed the door shut!" Then the story began to take a twist. Papa, who usually takes the place of the woodsman who saves the day, comes to the door. "Then the wolf eated up Little Red Riding Hood."

"What?" I declare. "What did Papa do?"

She: "He said, 'Wolf? Did you eat Little Red Riding Hood?'"

Me: "What did the wolf say?"

She: "He said, "'Yes.'"

Me: "Then what did Papa do?"

She: "He said, 'Little Red Riding Hood, are you in there?'"

Me: "What? This is not the way the story goes."

She: Giggling. "Well, there was water in there so Little Red Riding Hood said, 'Yes I am.' Then Little Red Riding Hood changed into a little baby wolf."

I called Gram to make sure this wasn't her ending. Sure enough, in her version, Papa Woodsman saved them all and they sat down to a nice spread of tea and muffins.

My children all lack personality, creativity and imagination.

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